A few nights ago I went to the Stone to hear fellow trombone pal Sam Kulik. Sam and drummer Shazad Ismaily did a loose set of improv and songs based on lyrics he had asked people on craigslist to send him, which were strange, silly and beguiling. Sam has a ton of charisma and is a great performer, he also read a monologue inspired by one of his craigslist correspondences that was hilarious and I have to say his trombone playing is unlike any I’ve heard.
The band coming up looked interesting and since I was already downtown I decided to stick around. They were a fantastic duo of Rhodes and drums from Portland, Oregon called “Why I Must Be Careful”. Their music was challenging and fun, and incredibly intricate. Their set consisted of a twenty minute (or more) suite of mathy grooves that kept quickly shifting and never seemed to repeat. These synchronized rhythms were clearly worked out, but it was hard to tell if they were loosely put together in performance or through composed, in any case it was an impressive feat of endurance, memory and skill. That was followed by an improvised interlude with the brilliant trumpeter Nate Wooley, in which keyboardist Seth Brown beautifully used the insides of his Rhodes. The last piece used the same scheme as the first, but caught me off guard me when the duo stopped playing and began a complex, extended counterpoint of spoken word, similar to their instrumentals. I imagine their music might be difficult to capture on record, as it takes time and concentration, but I highly recommend seeing them live.
Excerpt from the Honeycomb album